ERIC Number: ED422226
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Nov
How Might We Use Research To Inform Curriculum Development?
Brophy, Jere; Alleman, Janet
This study examines the use of research techniques to generate information that informs curriculum development, in order to develop more powerful social studies curricula for the primary grades. The paper describes the studies of four implementations of units, all done in self-contained second-grade classrooms in suburban schools with traditional elementary social studies curricula and materials. The study outlines the limitations of prior student knowledge and how those assumptions often guide what is taught, the lack of a clear focus of the purpose and timing of the social studies, and the lack of teacher knowledge of what the social studies is, especially at the early elementary level. One important finding has been the problem of good implementation with sufficient structuring of the teaching around the key ideas to be developed. Teacher prior knowledge limitations also were found with an over-reliance on textbooks that lacked a clear focus on key ideas. The need for a great deal of teacher structuring and scaffolding with young students limited in prior knowledge became very evident. Classroom data also allow the researchers to assess the value of children's literature sources. Parent surveys and interviews become part of the data collection and allow teachers to make modifications in the unit plans. The paper describes the study as a lot of trial and error and "bootstrapping" in order to establish a knowledge base about which social studies activities are best suited to particular grade levels and how these activities might be adapted to different grades or different student needs within a grade. (EH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (77th, Cincinnati, OH, November 20-23, 1997).